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Top Tips from ThreeTicks

Twelve Habits of the Toxic Mentee

Expectation and behaviours to avoid when working with a mentor

Here is a list of habits of the toxic mentee developed by David Clutterbuck.

  • Bring to the first formal meeting a long shopping list of things you want the mentor to do for you.

  • Expect the mentor to be available for you, whenever you want them.

  • Regard the mentor as your prime source of gossip to pass on.

  • Expect the mentor to always have the answer – that's why they are more senior.

  • Expect the mentor to decide when to meet and what to talk about.

  • Boast about the relationship to your colleagues at every opportunity.

  • Never challenge what the mentor says – s/he is paid to know best.

  • Blame the mentor whenever advice doesn't work out – s/he should have known better.

  • Treat mentoring sessions as mobile – the easiest item in the diary to move at the last minute.

  • Enjoy the opportunity to have a good moan or whinge, whenever you meet – especially if no-one else will listen to you.

  • Make it clear to the mentor that you want to be just like them – adopt their style of speaking, dress and posture.

  • Never commit to doing anything as a result of the mentoring session. If, by accident, you do, simply forget to follow the commitment up. (Why spoil the fun of discussion with outcomes?)

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